High Blood Pressure In the Elderly

Caring For High Blood Pressure In the Elderly

High blood pressure is common. As many as one in three people have this condition. It can be prevalent in the elderly, but with some effort, it can be controlled and managed. Understanding high blood pressure in elderly individuals comes down to paying attention to blood pressure readings that are 140/90 mmHg or higher.

What is High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is often referred to as the silent killer as many individuals do not know that they have the disease until it is too late. This can affect the heart, kidneys, and brains, and is a disorder that most people live with throughout their life once they are diagnosed. It is important to pay attention to high blood pressure in the elderly as this can contribute to a range of other illnesses.

High blood pressure in itself, is the pressure that is created by the blood that pushes its way through the arteries and against their walls. When the heart beats, this creates the systolic reading and the heart is at rest this creates the diastolic pressure.

An elderly person will have the lowest blood pressure reading as they wake up from a night’s rest. This reading will increase as the day goes on as the individual exerts more energy and the heart pumps faster and harder.

When an elderly individual is diagnosed with high blood pressure it is imperative that they seek the care of a provider – without proper treatment, it can lead to:

  • Heart failure
  • Aneurysms
  • Kidney failure
  • Vision Problems
  • Hardening of the arteries

High Blood Pressure In the Elderly

Causes Of Sudden High Blood Pressure In The Elderly

While the cause of high blood pressure in the elderly is unknown, it does have diminishing effects on their mental capacity. An elderly person with high blood pressure may have trouble completing mental tasks and which can also work to raise their blood pressure.

Sudden blood pressure spikes can be caused by a number of factors. Special care needs to be taken to avoid these influences as to not cause blood pressure increases in the elderly. Some causes of sudden high blood pressure in the elderly are:

  • Alcohol
  • Caffeine
  • Medication
  • Smoking
  • Diet
  • Stress
  • Other medical conditions

These causes of sudden high blood pressure in the elderly should be monitored carefully as they could lead to a stroke or have devastating effects on your parent’s health. When high blood pressure in the elderly presents itself suddenly, your parent may be treated intravenously with medication to control the pressure or a doctor may prescribe a personalized treatment plan to help reduce the blood pressure.

Taking care of a parent that has high blood pressure requires special care as you need to be able to follow doctor’s orders when it comes to administering medication or following a special diet. Limiting stress factors and staying away from alcohol can also prevent the causes of sudden high blood pressure in the elderly and make sure your parent is able to control and manage their symptoms of high blood pressure.

Sources:

https://www.agingcare.com/Articles/An-Overview-of-High-Blood-Pressure-108019.htm
http://www.webmd.com/brain/news/20081215/bp-spikes-may-cloud-elders-minds
http://www.med-health.net/Sudden-High-Blood-Pressure.html